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A Bengaluru home full of memories

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A tour of this earthy Bengaluru home, filled with reclaimed wooden furniture and Indian art will make you appreciate the beauty of using repurposed wood

A home filled with three decades worth of memories is not easy to move from one city to another across the country. For an interior decorator who steadily collected objets d’art from around the world, through more than three decades of travel, it was even more difficult.

Cheryl Nayak admits that the move tested the patience of her entire family. “We had three wailing cats to transport between two cities, numerous trucks full of things packed up from our life in Kolkata and family members who clearly were not prepared for the sheer amount of cartons present,” she recalls with amusement.

That memory seems a far cry from the scene in front of me today.

Slow jazz music plays softly in the background in this tastefully done-up apartment full of Indian art and bric-a-brac from different corners of the world; tall plants dot the interiors while three disdainful, yet decidedly calm cats walk in and out of the room as I chat with the homeowners, Cheryl and her husband Anand Nayak about their move to Bengaluru.
 

Cheryl Nayak and Anand Nayak in the patio of their home.

The apartment is part of a two storey bungalow, designed by their son Animesh, principal architect at Open to Sky. The plot on which the building was made belonged to Anand’s father. The Nayaks live on the first floor while the ground floor and second floor have been leased to tenants.

Almost all the wooden furniture in the house has been made by Cheryl’s team of carpenters and artisans who used to work on her interior projects. The centre table in the TV room, for instance, has been made from packing case wood that came with machinery, and later stained to match the grain that she had in mind. A bulky cabinet in the dining room was repurposed from a discarded cupboard she found in an office. An elegant wardrobe in one of their son’s bedroom has been made by recycling discarded window shutters.

“I love old wood, it has so much character,” she exclaims.
 

A beautiful old piano rests peacefully next to the dining table. “It’s more than 48 years old now. My father gifted it to me when I was growing up. I used to practice on it, but now it is difficult to find people in Bengaluru who have the knowledge to tune such an old piece,” rues Cheryl.

A leafy balcony space on one side of the apartment, that flanks the Indian living room, dining area and TV room, is where the Nayaks like to spend their evenings, reading and sharing a cup of tea as their cats give them company. It is their favourite corner in the house. As I bid them goodbye, I imagine this is how every day plays out in this home. Soft jazz music playing softly all day long as three cats make peace with their human parents. Home is clearly where these three cats are.
 

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Bindu Nair

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